Hazy Ambient Pad Tricks

What do you use to create Hazy Ambient Pads?

I tend to use these vsts for static ambient tones.

Chimera VSTi

For more pure ambient stuff or also Boards of Canada sounding pads I use:

Cygnus (with a long reverb after and no dry signal)

I use Samford reverb (with a really long decay) and Bionic delay (1/4 warp) and sometimes Wow and flutter VST.

I also sometimes record a piano vsti loop and then load it into Paul stretch.

Personally I find a lot of the vsts that get recommended for ambient stuff. I find them too ‘sci fi’ or alien sounding. Sometimes they sound too much like ‘liquid’. I personally like tape hiss, static and faint warm pulses within ambient melodic sounds.

How do you create your atmospheric ambient pads?

I’ve been getting a kick out of sequencing with Galaxy in VCV rack and then either paulstretching the outcome or blurring it pretty hard with a granulator

Also, just resampling a lot and re-layering the outcome gets me the best results. Sometimes I forget the origin of some of the samples I’ve made, and when I trace it back it’s just me jamming out in some shitty VST


I just use fl’s stock synth sytrus I usually just create a wierd waveform with higher harmonics and adjusting the phase of the harmonics, that and weird tunings using oscillators as lfos to get weird modulation in addition to fm modulation, sometimes I clone the synth patch and tweak it some more and automated the volume to switch between similar patches… I’ve also sampled a pad to use as an impulse for a convoluted reverb to use on another pad,
And I’ve also created vocal pads just using a reverb with a lot of decay on a plucky arpeggiated synth made with an adSr envelope modulating the filter and the volume…there’s other methods via resampling being that theres more than one way to do things

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My favorite ambient pads are more glassy than hazy, but I like to take a simple saw wave in FL Harmor, run it through the filter and then the harmonizer. That gets you a nice future organ sound of sorts. Then you take that and put it through the Harmor phaser 100% mix and automate some of those parameters. It’ll pick out individual harmonics that are always chromatically related to your music, but it does it in a very atonal, and possibly, unmusical way. Toss on a light delay and a few layers of your favorite reverbs and it’s absolutely beautiful.

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I used chimera heavily for all my The Tide stuff. The gui needs a magnifying glass feature but it’s a fantastic plugin and very versatile.

Lately I’ve sorta used combos of two plugins playing the same thing and then bouncing that sum down and then doing any processing or editing after the fact (my pc hates lots of 32 bit synth plugins so i kinda have to work around that), but I love the uHE stuff, UGO stuff etc. Trying to make it where all my plugins are 64 bit because bridging 50 plugins always seems to bog down the session.

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try a little distortion or bitcrushing after your reverb : ) mostly dry unless you want to go from hazy to dirty to a mess ;p


I use waveshaper distortion a lot being that I find its the most versatile


Why wouldn’t you tho?

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